Monday

25th Jan 2021

Opinion

EU cannot ignore history in Balkans enlargement

It is high time Europe makes cultural and historical dialogue part of its enlargement process in the Balkans, following the debacle on Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

News in Brief

  1. Estonia to get first woman prime minister
  2. Turkey and Greece to hold Mediterranean security talks
  3. Dutch police detain 240 in anti-lockdown protests
  4. Renewables overtake fossil fuels in EU electricity mix
  5. France's top scientist warns of corona 'emergency'
  6. Growing appetite for Northern Ireland independence
  7. Surge in support for Portuguese far-right party
  8. German far-right party sues to avoid stigma

Opinion

How enlargement is running out of steam

While the EU's enlargement progress reports have moved closer to capturing the problems of the region, they are still lagging behind in capturing the decline of democracy and rule of law in most of the region.

Spain to recognise Kosovo if it gets Serbia deal

Spain would be prepared to recognise Kosovo if it clinched a deal with Serbia, Madrid has said, in the first positive signal of its kind since EU-brokered talks resumed.

Opinion

The West's dirty Mostar deal

The EU is eager to claim that this step means that one of the 14 key conditions from the May 2019 European Commission Avis to achieve candidate status has been met. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from truth.

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Opinion

Montenegro's membership can inspire the European Dream

Today (15 December) I come to Brussels with a simple purpose: to present the credentials of my country, Montenegro, to become the next member state of the European Union, writes prime minister Zdravko Krivokapic.

Interview

Does North Macedonia really exist?

Its language and history give North Macedonia its identity for president Stevo Pendarovski, but, for Bulgaria, neither of them are real, in a dispute holding up EU enlargement.

Opinion

A fork in the road for Serbia

Visa-free travel by Kosovo passport-holders would be an important confidence-building measure, creating a positive atmosphere for negotiations. What Serbia wants is less clear.

Opinion

'Covid passports' for Eastern Partnership neighbours?

Belarus' incidence of the disease is currently higher than in Italy. Ukraine and Azerbaijan have counts comparable to Poland and the Czech Republic, where the outbreak had an average intensity. Whereas, Georgia compares well with Greece and Slovakia.

Kosovo to restart EU/US-led Serbia talks

Restarting talks on Serbia relations will be the new Kosovo prime minister's top priority, he said, but will the EU or the US lead the process?

Opinion

Why Miroslav Lajčák is the wrong choice for EU envoy

The EU could blow up the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations' reset. Should Miroslav Lajčák indeed be appointed, the two senior EU diplomats dealing with Kosovo would both come from the small minority of member states that do not recognise Kosovo.

Exclusive

Balkan spies 'feed' EU's police database via Czechs

Western Balkan secret services have handed over more the 250 alerts on suspected foreign terrorist fighters since last summer - fed into the EU's police database by the Czech Republic, according to a confidential document seen by EUobserver.

Opinion

Tweaking the EU enlargement process - a view from Kosovo

The Kosovan former ambassador to the EU, and previously EU integration minister for her country, warns that tweaks to the enlargement process could cause confusion and overlap with existing procedures.

Opinion

Enlargement: a missed opportunity

The European Commission just missed an opportunity on managing EU enlargement. Instead of taking a hard look at why it's currently failing, the commission tried to appease the most vocal opponent of enlargement – France – with largely cosmetic changes.

EU to publish new enlargement method

EU hopefuls will know more about the hoops they will have to jump through in future when the European Commission publishes its new "enlargement methodology" this week.

Opinion

Eastern Partnership must now improve media freedoms

The EU can hardly criticise Eastern Partnership countries for disrespecting media freedom. Five EU member states, including current presidency Croatia, came below Armenia and Georgia in the 2019 RSF Press Freedom Index. Bulgaria ranked nine places behind Ukraine.

Interview

Kosovo PM attacks 'mono-ethnic' EU justice

Letting Serb war crime suspects go free while pursuing Kosovar ones only is bad for Western Balkans reconciliation, Kosovo's outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, has said.

Opinion

Does EU have role in stopping backsliding in Georgia?

The EU's eastern neighbourhood is in flux. The collapse of the pro-reform government in Moldova and the stagnation of anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine was recently followed yet by another political crisis in Georgia.

Opinion

Macron's Balkan cordon sanitaire will backfire on EU

Paris is, by default, now steering the EU's overall policy agenda toward the Western Balkans. This seems to be the opening volley and test bed for Macron's goal of recalibrating the entire EU agenda.

EPP wants to re-open accession talks with Balkans

An emergency resolution adopted at the European People's Party (EPP) congress in Zagreb calls on the EU Council and member states to take a positive decision on opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible.